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Corporate Parties: The Ghost Of Christmas Past?

All details were correct at the time of publication but may have changed since.

It’s that time of year again… we’ve hit peak Christmas party season. A 2018 survey by consultancy Shine Workplace Wellbeing showed that a massive 75% of employees would prefer their employers to invest in regular wellbeing initiatives over throwing a Christmas party… which begs the question, does December 2018 mark the death of the corporate Christmas party?

Employee demographics and industries

The survey, undertaken in November, found that 80% of women advocated an employer-invested wellbeing programme over an office Christmas party. But well over half of the men surveyed (67%) also preferred this idea, demonstrating that it’s not just a gendered choice. It’s not an age-specific preference either; while the largest group of respondents in favour of a party were those aged 18–24, they still only represented 30% of their demographic.

It’s an employee trend which spans industry sectors, with 70% of those in marketing, and 60% of respondents in IT stating they’d prefer employers to invest in their emotional, physical and mental wellbeing, over throwing a big bash.

The cons of Christmas parties

For employers, ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ usually means a huge financial outlay, logistic olympics, and potential HR nightmares. Not to mention tax implications if your team bill back additional expenses and exceed the £150 per employee annual tax threshold for events. If it’s held on a weekday evening, there’s a good chance any over-imbibers will be less than productive (if they even show up) the following day. And, no matter how hard you try to foresee all eventualities, you’re always going to have people complain about some relatively minor issue that leaves you tearing your hair out in frustration.Could this employee trend be the excuse we’ve all been waiting for to move away from the Christmas party once and for all?

In place of parties

You don’t need to waste energy, time, and cash on one booze-fuelled night out for your staff. While I’m not suggesting you cancel this year’s event at the eleventh hour, smart employer brands will capitalise on this trend by thinking about ways to improve their employee wellbeing for 2019.

Bespoke wellbeing programmes can be implemented swiftly and efficiently onsite, which can be employer-funded or subsidised, or paid for by employees. The simplest way to kick-start a considered programme that works hard for your brand is to give your employees a taste, and see what really gets them engaged.

Body Mechanics three-day wellbeing taster events can be a series of physical treatments and classes, such as massage, yoga, and acupuncture, helping people relax and recharge.  You can also offer sessions to help your employees grow professionally, like one-to-one coaching or consultancy sessions. We also run events that help your team avoid burnout and stay focused, such as nutritional advice, meditation, or psychotherapy. Or you can choose to offer a combination of events that target the emotional, mental and physical needs of your employees.

Taster events take place onsite, meaning they fit in easily around the working day, giving your team members a chance to nip off and treat themselves in manageable sessions between meetings. You’ll soon be able to gauge whether a long-term integrated wellbeing programme would work for your business, based on engagement, feedback, and uptake.

Booking a taster session is easy, simply get in touch with me, Nikki Roy here.

If you need a little more convincing on how wellbeing programmes benefit businesses as much as employees, check out these articles:

Perk up: how to recognise and reward your employees

4 Reasons Employer Brands Smash Consumer Brands, Hands Down